Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
1,401 Reviews
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001

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Reviews: 1,401 | Ratings: 3,621
Photo of thebrood1987
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It really does smell like Christmas spices used in pies and gingerbread cookies. Taste like it smells but with rich sweet chocolate malts with some cinnamon flavor and the ginger taste. The orange peel ginger and dry cinnamon taste comes together at the end. As it starts to warms the spices really come out more and it creates a warm sensation. Has a good mouthfeel its thick and rich.

This is like Winter Lager but better. Its a special one to get from Samuel Adams. A lot of taste for not that high of an alcohol content. I know its cliche but they should really release this beer as their winter seasonal beer. The winter lager is good but that is almost like the lighter safer version of this. Its easy to drink plus has a full flavor taste that you would expect out of a high end craft beer.

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Photo of pzrhsau
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Fabulous deep reddish brown color with a good sized head and retention.
Smell: Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices balanced with the scent of the malt.
Taste: Very complex but very balanced as well. I felt like i was eating a nice doughy Christmas cookie. You get a really great combination of spices and the malt flavor that really makes it feel like a cookie. Great to drink with dessert.
Drinkability/mouthfeel: Great winter warmer, easy to drink but carries some weight to it. I wish Sam Adams would sell this in 6 packs. It's not that i don't enjoy the mix pack, I just don't want to buy 12 beers to get 2 that I really enjoy. Overall, in my opinion, this is the best beer the Sam Adams brewery produces.

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Photo of jlenik
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: vibrant head that diminishes in a few minutes. ruby amber color

s: some spices and a minor booziness.

t: caramel and toffee are two of the first things to come to my mind, it's followed by a slight bight coffee flavor and goes down with an oaky finish.

m: smooth and creamy. for some reason this reminds me of Innis and Gunn and I don't know why.

d: very high. why this isn't put out in six packs for the winter is beyond me.

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Photo of GaryT2
4.94/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It came in a Sam Adams sampler, I got this week. Now Fezziw ig is added to Oktoberfest as world beaters. I really like dark beer so I have to now put Old Fezziwig on top. I am going to get some more and will drink it with filet mignon with garlic mushrooms. Way to go Boston.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.92/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I get these every winter in my winter colection cases, great artwork and name...very fitting.

A holiday booster, a bold beer but not heavy, easy to drink and highly recommended.

Harvest notes, with slight hints of chocolate, raison, coffee, and black malt.

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Photo of gearkraft
4.82/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep rich brown with progressively amber hints towards edges of light. Moderately mild lacing.
S: A bountiful burst of roasted malts. Reminds me of a Winter Ale type smell. Very smooth and soothing.
T: A simply delicious malty burst, hints of spices, maybe cinnamon or cider. The longer the beer tingles in your mouth, the more smooth complex-malted flavors you experience. Flavor fades to a slight hopped effervescence.
M: Relaxing and warming, even though served cold. Samuel Adams got this winter warmer spot on. I wish it was brewed year round.
D: Drinkability is as high as it gets. Good flavor, good looks...Spot on from the ol' Boston Boys.

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Photo of dpm12786
4.77/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. All of the spices seem to really come through and there is just nothing else that I would rather have on a cold winter night. I think that this is by far in the top 3 of the sam adams brews and THEY SHOULD BRING IT BACK IN 6 PACKS!!!

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an orangy amber with a head that stands pretty strong throughout. The smell was spice, sweet malt, and some hop aroma shows. The taste is great. The spices blend very well and the strong sweet malt is balanced but the spices and malt shine in this beer. Caramel, cinnamon, and ginger are all there creating a wonderful taste of orange and spices. It is pretty big so it would be perfect to slowly sip on a cold winter night, Perhaps Christmas Eve.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.74/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice thick brown head. Burgandy color. Spice in the aroma. A nicely spiced brew. The obvious are orange and ginger. Also cinamon. A great X-mas/winter brew. I wish they sold these in 6 packs. There are many great winter brews, but this is near the top of the list in my opinion.

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Photo of rambojr03
4.73/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm a huge fan of Samuel Adams as a whole, so maybe I'm biased. Having said that, I feel that Old Fezziwig Ale is hands down the best beer they offer to the masses (Utopias and Imperials excluded). Part of me is happy they only offer the beer as part of their Winter Classics each year, and the other part of me wishes they offered it individually as a sixer. I cherish every sip of this "nectar", and right now I'm on beer number 3 (yes I bought two 12 packs simply to have access to 4 of these beers) of 4. What I truly enjoy about it is how it starts out as a complex dark beer, then shortly after drinking it becomes sweet and cinnamony.

I'm not sure if this year's batch is better than previous year's, but I must say that I've appreciated it more this year than I did in years past. In fact, I'm enjoying it so much that I plan on buying at least two more 12 packs tomorrow night.

It's easily my favorite dark beer (I almost feel incorrect in calling it a dark beer, though it has that consistency and mouthfeel), and one of my 5-10 favorite beers I've ever had.

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Photo of likethetaste
4.73/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful holiday brew. Just a perfect blend of spiciness and malt. Pours a beautiful chestnut brown color with a very good head that has great lacing. Just a good beer from pour to last taste. This just taste darn Good!!!

The Sam Adams winter variety pack is the best.

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Photo of jackndan
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adam’s Old Fezziwig: A wonderful Holiday beer, its too bad I can’t find it after thanksgiving. Clear, deeply colored red/brown, with a nice looking off white head that is thick, creamy and very long lasting. Wonderful thick Belgian lace.

This beer has a very nice, and understated, spicy aroma, with hints of ginger and cinnamon (duh, just as I finished typing that, I read the label, which clearly states that it has ginger and cinnamon in it). Very creamy mouthfeel, very smooth, with malty/molasses tastes, very well balanced by the aforementioned spices and some very nice hops. This is a truly wonderful beer, with plenty of flavor, supplemented with holiday spices.

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Photo of bronxlord
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Merry Christmas! This is a great winter beer. Again, Sam Adams surprises me with this spicy, rich, caramel ale. Wonderful aftertaste and overall great beer. Along with the Cream Stout, this ale should liven up your winter! I wish I was able to get it year round easily.

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Photo of mashedpotatoes
4.71/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Holy smokes! Now we're talking. I have to say after trying most of Sam Adams winter collection I didn't have high hopes for this one especially considering the silly name. Boy was I in for a shock. Pours a beautiful caramel amber color. This chewy, creamy, bready, sweet, and flavorful beer just knocks it out of the park. This could very well be my favorite winter style beer that I've had so far this year. This year I'm thankful for Old Fezziwig! Cheers.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.69/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams). Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's got a 1/2 finger thick off-white head with solid lacing, and a dark brownish amber body. Quite visually appealing.

The aroma that I'm picking up here is the caramelized and chocolate malts mentioned on the label. Seems like these guys always keep the fruit spices to a very low roar (no metal puns intended).

Tastes like the aforementioned malt characteristics, but the fruit tastes are present now. Again, subtly executed. This is an easy drinking winter warmer versus some of the astringent brews I've experienced these past few months. Its certainly a "creeper" with the alcohol warmth, but it does arrive in style late to the party.

This beer's mouthfeel is smoother and very much a cleaner finish than, like I've said above, most of the beers I've had in this style recently. This area was done astonishingly well.

Overall, I've choosen a 4.75 for Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams). A more tame choice amongst the other availible winter warmers. I'd liken this to an imperial style of porter, to go out on a "genre limb". This needs to come in six packs or cases where I live, so I can enjoy this more often and not have to purchase the disappointing winter seasonal sampler pack.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.69/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a Sam Adams beer that I have been wanting to try, but never got around to buying because it only comes in the holiday sampler. It pours a reddish brown color and has a tan and white head that did not stick around for very long, but did leave nice lacing. It smells malty and like raisins and cinnamon and a hint of ginger. The flavor is every bit complex,raisins, caramel,ginger,cinnamon and nice mix of hops at the end, but is smooth and perfectly blended. This is the best holiday spiced beer I have ever tried and is the only one I will look forward to enjoying for a second time or in this case many more.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.69/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Excellent winter warmer from Sam Adams -- drank it from a brown 12 oz. poured into a pint glass.

Appearance was a subtle red with a very slight head. The smell was amazing -- a nice ginger/cinnamon aroma. Taste was nice and malty -- extrmely drinkable. Would love to pick this up in a six-pack or 12-pack.

Highly recommended!

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Photo of OStrungT
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a brownish red with a thick fluffy tan head that fades very slowly leaving lots of thick laces. It has a malty aroma. I also detect slight aromas of ginger and cinnimon. A slight hop presence is detectable. This beer has a spicy taste, but not overly spicy. It is mildly spicy. It tastes really good. I taste cinnimon, and ginger. Maybe cloves also. This beer has a slightly malty sweet taste. I do not taste any hop presence. This beer goes down very smooth leaving a spicy ginger like aftertaste. I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It has a mild, very good taste. It is not strong in alcohol, so you can drink a lot. I think this is a very good beer. It is a shame that it is only available in a variety pack. I dont particularly want to have to buy Sam Adams Boston Lager and Winter Lager, and certainly not Cranbuerry Lambic just to get two of these.

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Photo of quad07
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Comes in a winter verity pack. Pry off cap in a brown 12% bottle.

I tried the Sam Adams Holiday Porter a couple nights before and as far as color there is very little difference. Poured a very dark almost black color into my large tulip shaped beer glass. There was a small off white head with very little retention or lacing that hung around. There was some carbonation that I could feel in my mouth but hard to notice when held up to the light. You can taste presents of hops and a dark chocolate malt taste. Maybe some citrus? Not sure about that. The alcohol was not over powering for me. I think I would not hesitate to purchase a six pack of this as it goes down pretty smooth.

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Photo of blakesell
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 year old bottle poured into an Ommegang wine glass.

Appearance-Much darker than when it was fresh, looks black until held to the light, then it is a deep translucent ruby with tiny bubbles passing thru the reverse image on the other side of the glass. Head is pearl white and only about a half finger thick. Quickly dissapates into tiny bubbles ringing the glass. Lacing clings and lingers on the sides.

Smell- Honey, cinnamon, maple, cherry, sweet honey light malts and allspice. Sweet caramel malty flavors and a hint of belgian chocolate at the very end.

Taste- Whoa! This beer ages WELL!! It tastes very close to a New Glarus Belgian Cherry Red with the cherry coming out upfront, but the spices kick in and then it becomes another beast entirely. Cinnamon, clove, orange, caramel, juniper, a bit of chocolate malt, nearly no hop in the finish but a slight bitterness that may be from the orange.

Mouthfeel- Medium full bodied, well carbonated, well attenuated. Somewhat chewy like taffy, but not as disgustingly sweet. Slightly warming despite the low abv.

Drinkability- I will be honest, when I had this fresh I was less than impressed, but with a year on it, the beer is amazingly drinkable. I would love to find more year old fezziwig again, but it is likely to be a fat chance as I will have to buy more full samplers just to get them. Bottle these seperately Sam Adams!

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Photo of KingJason
4.67/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I was eager to try this since the BROS gave it such a good rating. Since the BROS have drank so much beer on their journey through the matrix we consider as an objective reality, and since their taste in beer is respected and quite honestly envied, any time they give a beer over a ninety rating I go buy it. I know that George Clooney has a good taste in women since he has sampled so many just like the BROS have a quality acquired taste in beer, and when I had this beer I felt as if I was Batman. I know it sounds wild, like Jennifer Lopez dating Maynard James Keenan from the progressive rock band TOOL, and even if that could only occur on Bizzaro's square planet, then good, I am fair with the hype that responds to the crowd as Shawn Kemp's massive thunderous dunks rocked Chicago Bulls stadium in the Reinman's heyday. If we are aliens and thisw world is a video game we created and our human body is a Super Mario that us Aliens created to play an inter-galactic video game, than is it possible that beer is the mushroom?

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Photo of axxis64
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just got the new Winter Classics pack tonight at Kroger that came with Coastal Wheat. The first out of the pack was my dear friend "Old Fezzie" With out any question, this is my favorite beer from Samuel Adams.

From first look, this seems to be your average brown/dark brew, but it really is far from average. You can really smell the malts in this beverage, and the label tells you about cinnamon, orange and ginger just asking you to drink.

The taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability make this beer for me. The "holiday" flavors mix perfectly with the malts. I've had malty beers that just sit in my mouth and stomach like a rock. This beer is very tasty, and very easy to drink.

If you've never had this beer, get the mix pack. It is the only place you'll find it. There is a good reason why people have been begging for this to go in sixers. Great beer, and I'm not ashamed to say how biased I am about it!

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.64/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with a good amount of head.

Smell is mostly controlled by the caramel malt, some chocolate hints along with a strong orange citrus presence.

Taste has caramel at first, this follows up with a ginger twinge and finishes with a slight aftertaste of orange. Quite an interesting beer.

Easily one of the best Sam Adam's beers available, too bad they're not offered as a sixer, it would make the holiday season so much better.

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Photo of xare
4.64/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours as a semi-opaque cinnamon-brown-orangish tinted brew with a 1/8" tan head that doesn't appear to retain but carbonation is good. Pretty good for a winter warmer.

Smells like oranges with a hint of cinnamon & some ginger. Also get some touches of caramael and chocolate malt. Very pleasing and aromatic. Definitely makes me want to start chugging away.

Tastes like orangey-malt mixed with some spices (mainly cinnamon and ginger) - flavor is great with a mild kick at the end from the bitterness. There's a mild orange aftertaste which goes away rather quickly but overall, it isn't a perfect taste score but comes rather close.

Mouthfeel is rather smooth with a small jolt from the bitterness at the end - but overall, above average, just not excellent like some other styles. However, for a winter warmer / old ale type, the mouthfeel is pretty good.

Beware of its exceptional drinkability. I have to restrain myself and pace myself when drinking these - otherwise I'd find myself face down on the floor after having several of those.

Now if only I could find these in packages other than the winter packs that Sam does every year. I hope they keep this beer in the rotation as it's a major reason, if not the main reason, why I buy those winter packs.

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Photo of hyuga
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 edition. Dark mahogany colored liquid with a thick off-white head that stays well, and is a bit sticky. Sam Adams beers almost always do great in the appearance and head retention department. What an aroma! Ginger, cinnamon, and orange peel are all present, along with sweet malt. Caramel mostly, some chocolate, and a bit of toasted character. More intense spice aroma than Winter Lager, but a bit similar because of the spices used. The three spices are the mainstay of the palate as well. Cinnamon and orange peel mostly, but ginger isn't far behind. More toasted and chocolate malt backing them up, with a little less caramel than I expected having noted the aroma, but still a generous amount. Coats the tongue in spicy caramel sweetness. A bit of a warming alcohol presence. Rich, yet medium body. A great festive beer that's perfect for the holidays. I really wish these were available in six packs, however, I'm just happy that they keep putting this beer out at all, there being so many Sam Adams beers that are no longer produced. I'd recommend drinking one on Christmas Eve, as the name implies in a way. Superb!

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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 3,621 ratings.
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